Religion: Ijma’ (Consensus) between the Legal and the Political in Islamic Discourses

July 30th, 2014

What does Ijmāʿ (consensus) mean? How does it function within traditional Islamic Law? In what way do the Sunni concept of “ijmāʿ” and the Shīʿī concept of “imām” parallel each other? What are the political dynamics of ijmāʿ?

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Religion: Ijtihad and the Intellectual Struggle to Find God’s Law in Islam

July 23rd, 2014

 The episode discusses the concept of ijtihad that has been used by Muslim jurists to derive legal rulings. We particularly focus on what is known as qiyas and that came to be the most dominant interpretative tool that a mujtahid utilizes in this process.   

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Religion: Hadith Collections

July 7th, 2014

The episode introduces some of the different types of Hadith collections that arose in the world of Islam over the centuries. We discuss the role of Hadith in the transition from Qur'anic discourse to Islamic discourses and learn about sahifas, musannafs, musnads, and the Sahih movement.

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Religion: Hadith and Sunna

June 6th, 2014

Hadith reports attributing sayings and actions to Muhammad came to play a major role in the shaping of the religion of Islam. This episode will discuss some of the classifications of Hadith that Muslim scholars came to adopt after the success of what can be termed the Hadith movement.  

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Religion: The Solidification of Sunni Legal Schools

May 20th, 2014

This episode deals with the institutionalization of the legal field in Sunni Islam and the rise of the four "orthodox" legal schools or madhabs (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafiʿi, and Hanbali).

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Religion: The Compromise of al-Shafiʿi and the Birth of Usul al-Fiqh

May 8th, 2014

This episode further discusses the debate between the Ahl al-Ra'y and Ahl al-Hadith as well as the compromise initiated by al-Shafiʿi, who will make the case for hadith as vehicle for Sunna and will establish the base of Usul al-Fiqh (Sources/Principles of Jurisprudence). 

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Religion: The Partisans of Reason and the Partisans of Prophetic Reports

April 8th, 2014

This episode discusses the rise of legal study circles in early Islam. We encounter Ahl al-Ra'y (Partisans of reason), Ahl al-Hadith (Partisans of prophetic reports), Abu Hanifa (d.767) and Malik (d.795).

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Religion: Law in Early Islam

March 21st, 2014

This episode introduces the early frames of Islamic law before its more sophisticated stages. We discuss, among other things, law in the Qur'an and the early conceptions of Sunna and Ra'y.

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Religion: Introduction to Islamic Law

March 2nd, 2014

What is Sharia? What is Fiqh? Is there a relation between law and theology?

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Religion: Rationalist Theology between the Mu`tazilites and the Ash`arites

February 8th, 2014

Today, we highlight the tenets of Mu`tazilism and the Ash`arite response to it. Ash`arism would grow to become the dominant theological school in Sunni Islam.

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